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Art & Nature: Dispatch from Tajikistan

Wednesday, December 16 @ 7:00PM

How much do you know about Tajikistan? For most of us the answer is, “not much.”

On December 16th you will learn about this Central Asian country located on the 38th parallel. Tajikistan became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The ensuing chaos and the civil war from 1992-1997, created an opportunity for the autocratic regime to take control, and since then Tajiks have been struggling to find their new national and ethnic identity, while fighting poverty and slow economic growth.

We will hear about Tajikistan’s rich history, its traditional decorative and applied arts, colorful embroidery and carpets, as well as a contemporary art scene and the problems artists encounter in the state-controlled environment.

We will also hear about the environmental problems facing Tajikistan: pollution caused by cement and coal production, land degradation and limited access to water resources. A small group local and international activists are working to focus attention on these critical issues.

Our presenters

  • Lolisanam Ulugova (Loli), independent curator/art manager
  • Andrew McCartor (Drew), Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships, PureEarth
  • Ulugov Umidjon Amonovichis (Umed), Youth of the 21st Century

Lola Ulugova founded and directed Tajik Bio-Cultural Initiatives, a NGO dedicated to Tajik arts and environmental issues. She has been involved in the administration of multiple government and NGO research projects and publications in Tajikistan; and has been the organizer of several major art exhibitions. She holds a Masters degree from the University of Turin, Italy and an undergraduate degree in Russian Language and Literature.
(From Arts & International Affairs)

Drew McCartor is a lawyer and environmental health professional with eleven years of field experience designing and leading environmental assessments and risk-reduction projects at sites contaminated by heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and other chemicals. Drew has served as Pure Earth’s Regional Director for South Asia; Southeast Asia; and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Drew helped coordinate the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health and frequently represents Pure Earth at international events and conferences.

Ulugov Umidjon Amonovichis (Umed) is a lawyer and the deputy director of the nonprofit group Youth of the 21st Century in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he seems to know everyone!He has consulted on a variety of international projects, and is active in many environmental and human rights advocacy issues. Umed is currently working on a proposal to help the government review its current chemicals policy and create a national strategy to identify and remediate toxic hotspots.